Big John Bates first Canadian Tour in two years starts NOVEMBER 2014 with White Cowbell Oklahoma!


Considering John’s career started as a founder and singer/songwriter for metal legends Annihilator (Alison Hell, Never, Neverland), it’s safe to say no one saw this black train coming. Big John Bates has woven a new sound of cello, bowed upright and guitars, inlaid with the dark melodies of his and Brandy Bones’ vocals. Still relentless as a steam-powered locomotive the band performs within a southern gothic landscape, drowned in atmosphere and resurrected in fire. Their first release is the 7-inch “Black Timber Bitter Root” from Frontman/Rookie Records.

From day one in his punkabilly trinity back in 1999, Vancouver guitarist Big John Bates has carved through rock’n’roll like steel through a grinder, shooting sparks in every direction. He then devoted a decade to creating a band that wrote and performed the twisted live musical that became the first international touring burlesque show; a knife-wielding, flamethrower of a troupe called the Voodoo Dolls who crisscrossed every spider-webbed corner of North America and Europe. A thousand shows later and since 2010 Big John Bates has hooked up with some of the darkest ladies in the Americana world to spin out what could be called a sonic vision of rogue taxidermy.

Their 2012 EP was trumpeted as Rustic Punk and even Jello Biafra got on board and claimed “Headless Fowl is extremely cool”. The band followed that with the Battered Bones LP which earned them the moniker of Americana Noir. Even Quentin Tarantino came out of the woodwork to listen when he was scouting music for Django Unchained. And the legend is still growing as Bates and Montana’s upright bass songstress Brandy Bones, percussionist JT Massacre and cellist Leanne have been burning the midnight oil to create their newest offering: From the Bestiary to the Leathering Room.


midnight circus

To feel the evolution just slip on your headphones and listen to their epic new version of “Missionary Man”

MEDIA: for review copies email hombre @
Other artists Big John Bates has toured and performed with include Solomon Burke, Murder By Death, The Blasters, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, The Belrays, The Supersckers, White Cowbell Oklahoma, th’ Legendary Shackshakers, Dex Romweber, Larry & his Flask, Koko Taylor and Andre Williams.

Bates has played and headlined dozen of festivals including Ink & Iron (US), Ribs & Blues (NE), Big Time Out (CA), Shambhala x 3 (CA), Stemwede (DE), Halifax Pop Explosion (CA), Canadian Music Week (CA, and Sjock Festival (BE). The BJB band has also been featured on Battlestar Galactica, A&E, Discovery Channel, in Bizarre Magazine and Tattooage while their songs have been in movie and TV scores worldwide.

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(Head image: Cherry Beckett / Middle image: RD Cane)